Archive for category Blog Entry 6

Conformity- Kim Alvarado


Conformity is a type of social influence involving a change in belief or behavior in order to fit in with a group.  This can happen in response to real (ie. physical threatening) or imagined (ie. norms) pressure.

People conform in order to fit in with the collective consciousness and to better adapt and excel in their social environment. It has evolutionary and biological roots from the time where humans had to stick together, united by mechanic solidarity, in order to survive.  Conformity to the norms of a group gives us identity as well as a support system. This only becomes a bad thing if all of our “self” is investigated in only one group because it will lessen the possibility of a person becoming so personally entrenched and invested in one group that when a  mob mentality develops they find themselves flipping over an ice cream truck because they didn’t have Drumsticks.

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Throwing Conformity on the Ground! by Carmen Mowrey

When people are blatantly faced with social pressure to conform, they often rebel. This action is known as reactance, and takes place because we value our freedom to be individuals. In today’s society, the book stated that reactance is usually illustrated through underage drinking. Because there is a certain law that determines what you can and cannot do, the individuals who believe they are being unfairly treated and wish to non-conform choose to disobey it. This clip created by The Lonely Island, illustrates a humorous way that people may show their reactance (watch until 1:42).

Threw It On The Ground – YouTube.

As you can see, the main character is dismissing society’s perceived attempts to control his actions, which he illustrates by throwing their free samples, charity, and cell phones on the ground. His statement of “I ain’t gonna be part of this system” clearly illustrates his rebellion to the government, which he perceives as always trying to take his freedom away. Because he wishes to protect his sense of freedom and individuality, he illustrates reactance.

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Conformity- Amy Jennings

Conformity is when you alter or change a behavior in order to be more like the rest of a group. You do it under both real and imagined pressure.

When I think of Conformity, I often think of the crucifixion of our Savior, Jesus Christ. I wonder, when the crowd yelled out that Barnabus should be released, how many of them actually held that view. Is it possible that, perhaps, only a small portion of the mob that had converged for the trial actually wanted Christ killed? Or, even if the majority had asked for his death, how many wanted to show him mercy but failed to speak up because of the pressures of the masses?

As humans, we all conform. All the time. Even when you think you’re being different and unique, you’re probably conforming. The biggest issue is knowing when to stand up for your values, despite overwhelming pressure to change.

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The Recycling War, Ashley Chambers

Today I want to talk about conformity, which is how a persona will change their behaviors to match the common/’normal’ behavior in their group. People like to feel accepted and agreed with, so conformity is a quick shortcut to a feeling of belonging. However, there are factors that affect how likely a person is to conform, I want to focus on the idea of prior committment. Prior committment is when previous presentation of a behavior/attitude goes against the norms of the group, so he/she will be less likely to conform.

A good example of this is what I refer to as the ‘Great Recycling War’. It took place in one of my apartments during my early BYU time. Coming from Portland, Oregon, I am a bit of a hippy compared to the average BYU student. Some of my behaviors seem odd/out of place, or even disruptive to some people. One such case was my insistence on recycling. I asked my roommates if it would be ok for me to put a small recycling bin next to our trash can. I would be responsible for taking the recycling to the plant and it would not be their worry. I cared very much for recycling and I made it clear that I was all too happy to do the chore if it meant less garbage.

Well, one roommate took particular offense to this idea and grouped up with those who were slightly opposed. She aggressively voiced that the apartment did not want/need a recycling bin. I ended up sacrificing my pantry floor space to create ‘room’. I was already very committed to my need to recycle. I had made it clear that it was important to me. And I wasn’t going to be bullied into changing that–even at the risk of incurring some roommate wrath and aggression.

While my behavior may not have been conducive to inter-roommate relations, it certainly is a good example for how prior commitment affects our likelihood to conform to the group. I had already made my position clear, before I realized the most of the group did not want to recycle. Thus, I stuck to my guns and stubbornly sorted through the trash to get that recycling. I would not conform to the situation. Had I known their dislike for the idea before I used the bin… maybe I would have been less likely to stick to my guns.

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“We love to be loved” by Samuel Ramos

This title purely represents the uttermost desire of every human being: the need to be well seen by others and to become accepted in a social group. Fortunately or not, this achievement comes through a phenomenon called conformity. This is characterized by a person’s modification of behavior that is consistent with norms of a desired group of affiliation. Since we all enjoy socializing we also tend to adapt to certain behaviors a group might require in order for us to become accepted.

Although, the most used example is school pressures and social interactions, I will still use this example since it really stands up to me till this day. When I was about 16 years of age I was in a rock band, therefore many of the people I hung out with had long hair and used constantly crude language. However, In spite of the fact I wasn’t too churchy, that was a big stretch for to get used to, but I liked to spent time with them so much, that I started to act the same way. After a couple of years I had long hair and I my language etiquette was pretty terrible. I think I was more like a slider in that instance by making my friends not really notice my change.

Interesting thing is that at the same time I felt kind of bad about lowering my standards, they were the only ones that were really there for me. My buddies were great people and really cared about each other. With that being told, I wonder how my friendship would have been if I had stood up firmly for what I believed and acted the way my mother raised me. In sum, conformity is exemplified in a church environment, work and family even. Therefore, we have to open our minds to new possibilities and be able to discern what activities and groups of people are actually good to add to our behavior in a positive manner.

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Janel Glidden Vollleyball Conformity

When we talked about conformity, or changing behavior to act in accordance with a group, the first thing that came to mind was back when I played competitive volleyball.  Before playing in college, where all refs are paid officials, players would be asked to help out.

A player from a 3rd team would be asked to line judge.  This meant standing on the corner of the court and calling if the ball landed in or out on tough plays.  I can’t count the hundreds of times I have line judged a game and this feeling of conformity is strong.

Playing at a high level, but still in high school, club volleyball can make a big difference.  Everyone wants to be on a good team and the better your team does nationally, the more exposure you will get which will lead to being recruited to a better college.  The parents realize this and with all the money, time, and efforts they invest in their children’s career, perhaps get the most into the games at these club tournaments.

As a player line judging, you don’t have much on the line.  This is not the case for the parents cheering for their daughters in the game.  This puts a lot of pressure on the line judge that comes down to a single call.  Especially when the game may be on the line.  With parents yelling at the top of their lungs what the “correct” call is and the coaches and players trying to convince you also, a decision must be made in seconds.  Conformity comes in when the line judge follows what they are hearing.  If all of the parents in the stand are yelling it was out, it is not rare that a line judge will signal “out” even if they thought it was inside the court.  There are many times when your integrity is challenged when it would be so much easier to make an incorrect call and claim ignorance or convince yourself of what you saw.  When changing your call because of anyone else other than what you saw…This is conformity – modifying one’s behavior to make it consistent with the group.

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Kelsey’s Cohesive Conundrum- Christine Sellers

I knew a girl in high school named Kelsey. She was crazy good at soccer, super friendly, outgoing, gorgeous, etc. Kelsey was also black. My high school in the suburbia of Denver, Colorado was most definitely predominantly white…diversity was practically non-existent. When reading through the section on cohesiveness, Kelsey immediately came to mind.

Cohesiveness is a feeling; it is how strongly a certain group of people are bound together. The more cohesive a group is, the stronger they are. In particular, I would like to address “own-group conformity pressure.” In the book, the example used describes Kelsey’s situation perfectly. Kelsey was surrounded by white people constantly; her friends, family members, teachers, etc. Because of this, she experienced pressure to act and dress as “we” do, as the book states. Her peers always told her she was white because of the way she acted. The white people at my high school were an extremely cohesive group compared to other races present, and as such this group was very powerful. Many students of other races were in the same situation as Kelsey, and most of them conformed to act the way that the majority acted (white) because of this own-group conformity pressure.

This cohesive conformity pressure happens all the time. The interesting thing with Kelsey’s situation is that she realized it was happening. She switched schools in the middle of her high school career to be surrounded by diversity. She wanted to have black friends so she wouldn’t experience this conformity pressure any longer.

“One-group conformity pressure” is a powerful thing. When a group has a lot of power and is extremely cohesive, many will conform to comply with that group. Three cheers for Kelsey and her maintained identity.

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Compliance — Haydn Jensen

Compliance is when you change your behavior (even though you disagree) at the request of others in order to fit in with a group.

Deciding which movie to go to with a group can be very difficult. One friday night a few weeks ago, my five friends and I were going through the movies playing at the cheap theater, and we were having a hard time selecting a movie. Four of us decided we wanted to go to The Woman in Black. However, my friend Logan fought against going to a scary movie. It took awhile to persuade him, but he finally complied with our requests.

Logan displayed compliance when he decided to go to The Woman in Black with us. He knew he wasn’t going to enjoy the movie, but he didn’t want to miss out on the movie experience, and he didn’t want to say no to us either. He screamed during every single scary part, and when he wasn’t screaming, he was saying things like “why is Michael Jackson looking out that window.” It was a pathetic attempt to calm himself down, but his remarks kept us laughing the whole time.

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Conformity by Kendra Goff

We’ve all heard the saying “If all your friends jumped off a bridge, would you?” This saying was meant to deter us from giving in to peer pressure and following the crowd. Research has shown that if our friends did in fact jump off a bridge we would be right behind them. This illustrates the concept of conformity. Conformity is when an individual changes his or her behavior as a result of group pressure. An example of this in the movie Hook.


When Jack walks into the room full of clocks, his first thought is not to smash them. Captain Hook and Smee smash several clocks. As Jack watches, he becomes more and more intrigued by their actions. Eventually, Captain Hook hands Jack the hammer. Hesitantly he smashes the first clock. After that he becomes more and more willing to smash the clocks. This shows that Jack’s behavior changed according to how Hook and Smee were acting. After displaying the way that they would act in a room full of clocks, Jack followed suit and behaved in the same way.

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“Monkey see, monkey do” by Tatiana Herman

“Monkey see, monkey do” by Tatiana Herman

Suggestibility is something that we have all been exposed to. It has to do with how susceptible we are to being influenced by other people. One manifestation of this phenomenon is called the chameleon effect. This takes place when we mimic someone’s behavior unconsciously.

Two weeks ago I had a professor conduct a small experiment on our class. He divided us into groups of four or five people and had one leader from each group meet with him for a couple of minutes outside the classroom. We were all then led outside, divided into our groups, and given five minutes to come up with an idea for an experiment. After one person from each group briefly outlined the study to the rest of the class, we were led back inside.

Our professor explained that the purpose of the exercise had nothing to do with coming up with study ideas but rather the concept of subconscious imitation and the power of suggestibility- although he didn’t identify it that way. When he pulled the group leaders aside, he had asked them to perform a subtle gesture such as scratching their face or shifting their weight, and watching the group to see if they followed. It turns out that the majority of each group imitated their leader’s behavior, much to everyone’s surprise. Our group had three people rocking back and forth on their heels after our leader began doing so. We were all shocked- and pretty amused. This clearly illustrated the concept of the chameleon effect.

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Conforming To Social Pressures by Catherine Dodart

Oftentimes we may be placed in situations where we find ourselves acting or responding differently than we normally would have. We let social influences change the way we may think or act because of pressure. This is known as Conformity. One way or another we all conform. Whether that’s agreeing with someone on an issue you might have disagreed on, worn a certain brand because everybody else has it, or participated in an event you otherwise wouldn’t have if there wasn’t any social influence.

In this clip Robin Williams gives a good example of conforming with one of his classes.

An example that I had with conforming was one that involved a movie a group of friends and I saw. At the end of the movie we all talked about whether or not we had enjoyed the movie and what we liked. There was a girl there that we knew wasn’t particularly fond of the movie but because the rest of us said that we liked it, she changed her answer and claimed that she had liked the movie as well.

In conclusion, conforming can be contagious! We have all been guilty of this at one time or another.  How do we avoid giving in to social pressures and being able to stand alone when others opinions differ from our own? Only time will tell if we one day will be comfortable and confident enough to avoid the influences and opinions of others.

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Cohesion by Cheri Hiatt

 Cohesion is the unifying bond that a group may have which causes them to stick together and act similarly to one another.


Conclusion: Even though standing on desks in the middle of class is not something that is regularly done, one student decided to do just that. Because the majority of these students have a close bond, they are unified and support the decisions of other members of the group. For this reason, most of the boys in the class decided to stand on their desks as a collective group, thus demonstrating cohesion.

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Role Reversal: It’s Freaky-Ian Hawkes

Though we often look down on roles, criticizing them for the conformity which they may force us into, roles can actually be a force for good. In the case of role reversals, a change in traditional roles can help us to better understand the situations of others and empathize with them. Roles often come in pairs: parent and child, teacher ad student, doctor and patient. When disagreements appear between roles like this, it is often helpful to realign conformity, and see the situation through others eyes.

A great example of this is in Freaky Friday, where the mother and the daughter literally switch bodies and come to better understand one another. Here is a trailer for that movie below:

After switching roles, the mother and the daughter come to understand one another, and accepts the others decisions. This is a perfect example of how role reversal can be used to solve conflict.

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The Beard Card by Austin Peterson (Blog Entry 6)

Here at BYU we have many rules that we get to follow. Many are understandable and some are not. But either way we follow and show compliance. Compliance is a type of conformity that involves publicy acting in accord with an implied or explicit request. We all at BYU comply with many rules and a great example is the facial hair rule that makes you forever seek a Beard Card.

The need for a beard card comes from the facial hair rule that BYU enforces which doesnt allows students to grow excessive facial hair. Many have thoughts and opinions on the issue of facial hair but only one man could ever truly play it off and that was Brigham himself. Here is a funny photo that shows just that    

The beard/facial hair rule at BYU clearly shows compliance by all of the students because we all respond to the request of the university whether we like it or not. The rule is in place and in order to do the things we need to do on campus and for our classes we comply even if we dont agree. As students at BYU we comply with many things and this is just another example of it.

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swim suits at school?- cohesiveness: Clarissa Thomas

Cohesiveness: when members of a group possess bonds linking them to one another.  This  idea of cohesiveness is one element that can lead to conformity.

When I was in high school, all the girls on the swim team wore their swim suits over their clothes to school.

My swim team decided to make a stand together towards increasing the attendance at the swim meets by wearing our swim-team suits on top of our clothes.  We tried pulling this stunt off at the beginning of swim season- but a lot of the girls chickened out.  However, as we grew together as a team throughout the season-we were able to convince the chicken girls to do it with the rest of the team.  Yes it was embarrassing- but we took on the thoughts of the team and did it for the cause of the team.  This time around- everyone joined because no one wanted to be ostracized from the team- it was a success!!

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The Pianist. Patrick O’Connell

That chart we looked at in class today of how conformity changes with group size has got me thinking. The fact that some situations will illicit more or less conformity when groups are large, or the opposite when the group is small is fascinating.

The movie The Pianist depicts a Jewish/Polish concert pianist struggle to survive through the events of Warsaw’s Jewish ghetto in WWII.  One scene in particular reminded me of conformity in groups.  The entire movie is full of Nazi’s performing horrific things in large and small groups, however, in one scene a Nazi lieutenant discovers the pianist in a bombed out house trying to survive.  The scene is tense, and you expect the officer to either shoot him or take him back to the camp.  But none of the other Nazi were there, and the officer left him alone.

The terrible things that the Nazi did throughout the rest of the movie show how groups and authority can lead people to conform in even entirely immoral situations.  But, when the man is reduced from the group to just himself, his personal morals can take over.  He comes back later in the movies with food for the pianist because he able to connect with him on a personal level outside of his group.

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“Popularity Conformity” by Aly Lallatin

Conformity is changing an aspect of oneself in order to assuage pressure that one feels from a group, whether the pressure is real or only imagined. Conformity is especially seen in teenagers, particularly those in high school. Many teens will do almost anything to become part of the ‘popular’ group.

I have a cousin who is an excellent example of this. Before he conformed to the traits expected of the popular kids, he was smart, respectful, clean cut and genuinely kind. However, one of his friends was part of the popular group and pressured my cousin to change in ordered to also be accepted. And he did. He joined the football team, he started failing classes, he started to pick on those he considered beneath him, and he was all around belligerent. At first it seemed he was just behaving this way to be accepted, but after a while, he actually believed in his behavior; his attitude had conformed to that of the popular group.

This is an example of conformity because my cousin changed his beliefs in response to the pressure he received from his friend and the popular kids.



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Cohesiveness By Kelsey Lemmon

Conformity is predicted on the basis of several factors, one of these is cohesion. When an individual becomes a part of a group, and identifies with the members, they become cohesive. This cohesivenses and closeness leads to conformity. The individual is likely to follow the group because of their relationships and identifications with the other members in the group.

A good example of how a group cohesiveness affects conformity is found in this clip from Little Rascals.

Separated from their groups, Alfalfa and Darla start to think that the they might actually like each other. They think that maybe those from the opposite gender aren’t so bad after all! However, after they are back with their groups, they conform to the group’s way of thinking. The group reinforces the thought that boys smell for Darla, and the boys reinforce the idea that girls talk too much for Alfalfa. The two quickly join in the talk because they identify with the members of their group and do not want to be ostracized by them. It is a powerful way of persuasion that causes both individuals to let go of their own thoughts and join the thought of the groups.

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Shikaka!_Reactance_Amy Kankiewicz

Reactance: The urge or impulse to maintain and/or restore one’s feeling of freedom. (See 1:43-2:25)

This clip from Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls represents reactance.  Ace Ventura was told not to step on the altar for the Shikaka.  This rule was taking away some of Ace Ventura’s freedom.  In order to keep some of his feeling of freedom, Ace Ventura impulsively stepped on the altar when the chief was not looking.  By defying the chief and showing his freedom, Ace Ventura showed the principle of reactance.

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Blog Entry 6: Conformity by Caitlin Randall

Conformity is the occurance of someone changing their behavior to follow the norms of a group. Personally, I like to think of conformity as society’s way of keeping us the same – while it isn’t always a good norm we conform to, or even a sensical one, conformity serves as an underlying similarity. At one point or another, we have all conformed to fit in, whether we recognized it or not.

While today’s clips in class were certainly effective, they were a little heavy for my liking. This clip is perhaps silly, but definitely models conformity at its best.

In the above clip, Gretchen Weiners is telling Cady Heron the rules of their group. Cady is a little confused, but intends on conforming to these rules that are quite ridiculous. While this could be interpreted as compliance because Cady is following Gretchen’s request, or even obedience because Cady is following someone she sees as authoritative, it is conformity because these are the norms of a group within society.

Remember, kids, we only wear jeans or track pants on Friday.

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“Conformity and Compliance”-Liz Ammons

Conformity is following the behaviors and actions of others in order to “fit in” and not stand out. These behaviors are the social norms set up for people to follow. Compliance is changing one’s behavior because of a request made by another. Many societies, if not all, are set up with systems of conformity and compliance.

In the movie Cool Hand Luke there is a prisoner named Luke who does not conform to prison life or comply with the requests of those above him. He continues to bend and break rules despite what others around him think. He will not bend to the rules or conform to what others advise him or tell him to do. Also, his noncompliance with orders gets him into a lot of trouble, but he does not give in.

This film gives several good examples of what conformity and compliance are and the consequences that come when someone ignores these rules, boundaries, and norms.

Liz Ammons

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Princess Conformity (by: Sara Walker)

Conformity is the tendency to alter one’s attitudes or behaviors in order to be accepted by a group.

You have to admit it: at one point Princess Diaries was your favorite movie.  I loved watching Mia’s transformation into a Princess because it gave me hope that I could grow out of my ugly duckling phase too.  However, Mia didn’t do anything special.  She just conformed to the expectations others had of her.  Her grandmother, the queen, expected her to be lovely, respectful, and well-mannered.  Mia conformed by changing her hairstyle, wearing more formal attire, and learning how to cross her legs like a princess.  She became more dignified, and as shown in this clip, her classmates accepted her and fawned over her because she conformed.

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Reactance in “She’s the Man”- Tianna Freeman

Reactance is the theory that people will act against a norm in order to maintain their sense of freedom and individuality. Reactance is what produces an anticonformity “boomerang effect”, as the book calls it. When someone threatens our ability to act and choose for ourselves, we rebel against the command and refuse to conform. One example of reactance is the movie “She’s the Man”.

All Viola wanted to do was play soccer, but the girls team got cut. When the coach of the boys team told her that she wasn’t good enough to play on the boys team, Viola refuses to accept the coach’s decision and decides to pretend to be her twin brother and play for the rival school’s boys soccer team. This leads to a series of ridiculous situations where Viola continues to prove that she isn’t going to conform to her societies idea of a what a girl should do.

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Mass Delusions by Kayla Sharee Baucom

mass delusion is a spontaneous spreading of false beliefs and fits into Sherif’s study of norm formation.

One such example of this is the Salem Witch Trials. As we all remember, probably, the trials were held because eight girls were acting strangely and some people decided that was because they were witches. Many died because of these trials.

The Salem Witch Trials are an example of mass delusion because after the girls were pronounced witches, randomly other people were seen as witches and then executed. As can be seen, a spontaneous belief about the existence of witches occurred (which is a false belief), thus exemplifying the definition of mass delusion.

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“The Frightening Power of Obedience” by Ryan Turner

Obedience is to act or modify one’s beliefs in response to the commands of an actual or perceived leader.  People often go to great extents when they receive orders from an authority figure because they value the command of the person in authority over their own judgment.  Throughout our lives, we are taught to obey those who have authority over us.  The principle of obedience can yield both beneficial outcomes and horrendous misfortunes.  It can lead people to obey traffic laws for the safety of drivers and pedestrians, or it can lead people to perform mass murders for the destruction of nearly an entire race.  A classic example of obedience is the “experimenter-teacher-student” study done by Stanley Milgram in 1961.  The experiment showed that certain people are willing to obey an authority figure to the extent of delivering electrical shocks to a “student” as a mode of punishment for the student mis-answering a test question.  Some “teachers” even obeyed experimenters’ orders to what would be the equivalent of the student’s severe harm, or, at worst, his death.

Another example of obedience is found in the film, Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith.  Throughout the movie, Anakin Skywalker becomes acquainted with the Chancellor of the Senate.  Beginning with simple commands such as killing an enemy Sith Lord, the Chancellor slowly gains the allegiance of Anakin until he eventually becomes his accomplice, and kills without any command to do so.  As a leader first orders his followers to perform simple acts (evil albeit), he later demands more deeds (and often more inhumane deeds) upon his followers until they become trapped in the “palm of his hand.”

Obedience is to change one’s behavior in response to the orders of an authority leader.  Whether or not the follower actually wants to obey or even believes that obeying is the correct thing to do, he nevertheless obeys.  Its power can be used for purposes that are beneficial to society, or for purposes that threaten the basic human rights of individuals.  It is important that we recognize the power of obedience in our every day lives and that we use it to promote equality and happiness for all.

4:20-5:44 (Revenge of the Sith) Anakin obeys orders to kill an enemy.
5:52-9:21 (Revenge of the Sith) The Chancellor orders the killing of all Jedi Masters.

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Conformity by Matthew Landeen

Conformity:  Thinking or acting differently in a group than you would normally act or think alone.

There are many examples of conformity and I feel that we are all guilty of it at some point in our life.  Remember this is not always a bad thing.  Sometimes it is good to conform even though it has a negative connotation.

This candid camera video illustrates conformity very well and provides some humor.


If the people in the elevator were alone they all would probably face the doors.  When the groups behavior is different than the norm, the individual conforms to the group behavior even though it does not make sense to them.  This experiment has been done by other modern-day groups and the reaction is the same.

Since studying conformity I have become more aware of the small ways that I conform and sometimes am not aware of it.  When we took a brake during class I went to the bathroom.  After washing my hands I always take just one paper towel.  Both of the people before me took two and I conformed and took two.  I definitely would not have taken two if I was by myself in the bathroom.  This is not the first time this has happened.  I typically conform to the groups behavior unless I strongly disagree with the groups behavior.  Pay attention to your own behavior and try to observe when you have tendencies to conform.

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The Nomative Social Influence- Seren Bezzant

The Normative Social Influence is an explanation as to why we conform. The normative social influence states that the reason that we conform is because we want to be accepted and liked by other people. We are more likely to be liked by someone if we agree with them. So we are more likely to conform in order to be accepted.

I chose this clip from Nacho Libre because I thought it illustrated this concept well. Nacho is trying to get to know encarnacion, but as soon as she pauses he takes the time to agree with her. He may or may not like puppies, but he says that everything she says is his favorite thing in order to get her to like him. He also tells her about wrestling and when she doesn’t approve, he just says whatever, which is probably nicer than he would respond to anyone else, to be on her good side. Nacho is definitely complying with encarnacion and agrees with what she says in order to get her to like him.

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“I’m not like everyone else” by Brigham Larimer

The focus of this blog is on the concept of reactance, which is the concept that people will sometimes act in spite of a norm or rule rather than conform to it in an effort to maintain their individuality and freedom of choice. Such people sometimes feel that a norm or standardized behavior threatens their ability to decide for themselves what they can and can’t do, and thus rebel against it so as to be their own person.

This concept reminded me of a roommate that I recently had named James. He was very much a person who did not like to do, think, or believe things just because other people are doing so. In fact, with James it was to the point that he would sometimes go against something simply because it seemed to him that everyone else was doing it, even if for no other reason! The example that quickly comes to mind is in regards to the 2012 Republican Party Nomination, in which Mitt Romney competed with several other candidates to become his party’s presidential nominee. In Utah Valley, most republicans favored Romney over the other candidates, which has been said by many to be because he shares the LDS religious values that most people in the area hold. Whether or not this is true, James, who himself is LDS, agreed with this assessment. He saw this as being a bad reason for supporting a political candidate, and feels strongly that candidates should be supported based on politics, not religion. A fair assessment, in my view. What was fascinating to me, however, is that James himself did not seem to base his assessment of Romney purely on politics, as his political philosophy would dictate, but seemed to have a strong bias against him because of Romney’s popularity that was perceived as being due to his religion. In short, James had a distaste for Romney because of everyone else’s positive attitude toward him!

I know James pretty well, and could see that James’ dislike for Romney was at least partly motivated as an effort to not be part of the crowd. He thought the majority of his community was behaving naively, and he didn’t want to be just one of the masses. James ended up supporting one of the less popular candidates who never gained much momentum among voters.

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Obedience in Harry Potter 6, by Michael Matthews

The concept this post will be about is obedience—specifically, changing one’s actions in accordance with a spoken command.

Harry Potter fans may recall the beginning of the 6th movie.  Harry was waiting at a restaurant, hoping to chat with the waitress after she got off work, when Dumbledore showed up.  Dumbledore, you see, had to ask for Harry’s help in convincing Dr. Horace Slughorn to come work at Hogwarts.  But in order for Dumbledore and Harry to get to Slughorn’s house, they needed to “apparate”.  And, in order for two or more people to apparate to the same place, they need to be in physical contact.

So Dumbledore says, “Take my arm, Harry,” which is a little weird since men do not usually take each other by the arm.  Harry hesitates, but Dumbledore says more firmly, “Do as I say.”  This double verbal command is finally enough to make Harry obey Dumbledore’s request.  Harry usually isn’t a non-conformist jerk, so one can forgive him for being a little reticent about breaking a cultural/gender norm.  But he is the hero, so he of course ends up obeying his elders, like a good hero does.

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Who Is She? (By: Jennae Haug)

People may fall victim to normative influence on a daily basis. Everyone wants to be liked, and therefore, even if it is not what one would typically do, may conform to meet the likes of others. When this occurs, one has fallen subject normative influence, which motivates others to conform based on the desire to be liked.

Link: (watch 1:30-2:28)

Stephanie chose to not clean her room when her father asked her the second time because she wanted to be liked by Gia. Although Stephanie has been an obedient daughter otherwise, she chooses to not obey her father’s request to clean her room because she does not think it is “cool” after Gia clearly expresses her opinion. Stephanie does not feel the desire to be liked by her father. However, as it is the first day of school and Stephanie wants to be part of Gia’s crowd, she feels the undying desire to be liked by Gia. Therefore, Stephanie has fallen subject to normative influence by disobeying her father in order to be liked by Gia.

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Mean Girls by Jamie Rhoten

Obedience is when a person follows or behaves in accordance to demands.

Obedience is a form of conformity. In the movie “Mean Girls” the main character is a new student from Africa. During her first week she is introduced to a group of girls known as the Plastics. These three girls follow certain rules and if they do not obey or abide by those rules they are excluded from the group. The new girl, Lindsey Lohan decides to obey the rules or demands of the group and she changes her appearance, behavior, and beliefs. Here is an example in the movie where the new girl is being told all the rules after she has obeyed the first rule of wearing a pink shirt on Wednesdays. Because she has obeyed this rule she is included in the group.

This is an example of Obedience because Lindsey Lohan follows the commands or rules of the Plastic group and becomes a mean girl.


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